This is one of those dinners I’m going to have to do a bit more work on. Mike loved it, but I wasn’t entirely satisfied. I had two wild Alaskan halibut filets to prepare for dinner, as well as some green beans, and I wasn’t quite sure how to jazz them up, so I did a quick skim of recipes Food and Wine. Cal Elliot and Polo Dobkin’s recipe for Halibut with Mixed Beans and Lemon-Butter Sauce caught my eye (not surprising, as Dressler is one of our favorite places to eat out), so I thought I’d try a spin on it.
Since I only had the green beans to go with the halibut, I thought I’d prepare a sort of relish to go on top of the fish to provide a bit more color and texture. I whisked together about half a cup of fresh lemon juice, salt, pepper and olive oil in a bowl, then added a handful of chopped fresh dill, a tablespoon or so of lemon zest, one minced garlic clove and half a cup of Greek olives, pitted and sliced. I set that aside and got to work on the fish, seasoning it with salt and giving it a light coating of olive oil on all sides. I placed the fish into our cast iron skillet, which I had heated almost to smoking, and let it cook skin side down for several minutes, until the skin was crispy and the fish was cooked about halfway through.
While the fish cooked on the first side, I cooked the green beans – half a pound, trimmed – in just a bit of water until bright green and crisp-tender. When they were done I drained them and set them aside. I moved back to the fish, gently flipping the filets, turning off the heat and adding half a cup of white wine and the juice of a lemon. I turned the heat back up to medium and began scraping up the little browned bits from the bottom of the pan. I let the fish cook in the wine and lemon juice for 2-3 minutes, then removed the filets to a platter and covered them with foil. I reduced the heat to low and whisked in about 1/3 cup of cold butter a little at a time until the sauce was smooth and creamy.
I tossed the green beans with the butter sauce and added them to our plates, placed a halibut filet over, and spooned more lemon butter over the top of the fish. I then spooned a mound of the olive-dill relish on top, and served.
The meal was tasty, and Mike said the fish was perfectly cooked, but I think I would have liked a little more zing in this dish – I will probably try upping the amount of citrus in the butter sauce and/or adding some chile flakes to the relish next time around.
Wine Pairing: Neither of us are big fans of Chardonnay, but we love Wolffer Estate La Ferme Martin, and it worked really well with this meal. It had just the right amount of crispness to complement the rich and meaty halibut and butter sauce.